Read Alouds are a wonderful way to model reading for third graders by observing fluency, expression and tone. Third graders are becoming fluent readers and finding their way to what types of books they like to read.
When children are exposed to read alouds, they begin to make connections to themselves and the world around them. Read alouds also help to not only increase comprehension but also help to broaden vocabulary knowledge.
1. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
The One and Only Ivan will quickly become a read aloud favorite, as children fall in love with the story inspired by the true events of a captive gorilla known as Ivan. In the 27 years of captivity, Ivan's everyday life revolves around spending much of his time watching TV, spending time with his friends Stella, an elephant, and Bob, a dog, and painting. Through many ups and downs, Ivan eventually finds peace at a zoo.
2. Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine
Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad is a wonderful read aloud for any time, as it inspires conversation about slavery. This real-life story of Henry Brown is about the dreams of freedom. Henry's family is sold on the slave market and he is put to work in a warehouse. It is at the warehouse where he gets an idea to mail himself to freedom. This will be a very thought-provoking read aloud for third graders.
3. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Kate DiCamillo's Because of Winn Dixie is a chapter book that captures the sweet stories of a southern girl named Opal and her preacher father. Opal comes across a stray dog who she quickly becomes friends with and names Winn-Dixie. Opal learns a lot about friendship and letting go as she spends her summer making memories with her new friend. This awesome book about friendship is a wonderful read aloud.
4. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
The Phantom Tollbooth is a wonderful classic story for any 3rd grade books library. This novel follows Milo into the Lands Beyond which was found out of boredom. As Milo journeys through different lands, he comes to the conclusion that life isn't as boring as he thought.
5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
This classic tale from British author Roald Dahl is a beloved novel that has withstood the test of time. Third graders will love to hear this amazing book about Charlie Bucket who wins a trip inside Willy Wonka's famous chocolate factory along with four other children. Some of Willy Wonka's greatest secrets are revealed as Charlie the hero is in for the wildest time of his life.
6. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Chrysanthemum may seem like a picture book for only young children, however, this story is related to all ages. This read aloud book can bring about discussions on teasing, self-esteem, and acceptance. When on the first day of school the children make fun of Chrysanthemum's name, she quickly decides she doesn't like her name anymore. It takes her music teacher to not only change her mind but the minds of the other students as well.
7. Eric Carle's Dragons, Dragons by Eric Carle
Eric Carle's Dragons, Dragons is a wonderful picture book with wonderful illustrations of mythological creatures that will peak any third grader's attention. This wonderful collection of poetry lends itself as the perfect read aloud to enjoy this wonderful world of dragons and other creatures.
8. The Witches by Roald Dahl
The Witches will quickly become a favorite book of any third grader. Roald Dahl weaves a tale about real witches, who don't ride broomsticks or wear black cloaks and hats. An orphaned boy who lives with his grandmother overhears the plan of the Grand High Witch to turn all the children into mice by opening candy stores.
9. Big Plans by Bob Shea
Big Plans makes for a wonderful read aloud that encourages imagination and keeps children's attention. When a boy ends up in the time-out corner, he quickly let us all know that he has big plans. This would encourage young listeners to push through small setbacks and push through with their dreams.
10. The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz
Corey Rosen Schwartz delivers with The Three Ninja Pigs as a funny and smart read aloud that will have third-grade readers rolling with laughter. This twist on the fairy tale The Three Little Pigs has the three pigs taking karate lessons to defeat the wolf who is threatening to blow all the houses down. When the wolf finally shows, the first two pigs aren't really, so their sister has to save the day.
11. Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Rosen Schwartz
Third graders will find Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Rosen Schwartz an awesome twist on a classic fairy tale. This beautifully illustrated book will have kids excited to keep reading. This story finds Wolf frustrated since he can scare up a good meal because the three little pigs started teaching everyone Ninja skills. When Wolf begins his own classes, he sets his sights on what should be easy targets, a little girl and her tiny granny.
12. Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet by Kelly DiPucchio
Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet is a great read aloud for animal lovers everywhere. Gilbert has everything he needs except a pet. Gilbert goes through a few pets and finally lands on a very surprising, unlikely one.
13. If I Ran the Circus by Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss's books always bring to life the imagination and creativity of all who read them and If I Ran the Circus is no exception. This story follows young Morris McGurk who wants to turn a vacant lot into a circus. The reader is taken through a fantasy world as Morris McGurk imagines all the creatures and shows that would be in his circus.
14. Chopsticks by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
This is a surprising book of friendship that will elicit many surprising discussions about friendships and separation. When one of the chopsticks becomes injured, the other encourages him to venture out on his own and in doing so discovers his hidden strengths. The chopsticks learn that being apart has strengthened their friendship.
15. What Pet Should I Get? by Dr. Seuss
Choosing a pet is one of the most relatable topics for a child and What Pet Should I Get? by Dr. Seuss is a classic tale that captures the iconic childhood moment. A brother and sister are getting a pet, but they must compromise and agree on one. They go through many different choices and finally settle on one.
16. No Pirates Allowed Said Library Lou by Rhonda Growler Greene
This hilarious tale of a Burly Pirate Pete and Library Lou make for an awesome tale. Children will delight in hearing No Pirates Allowed Said Library Lou as Pirate Pete goes looking for buried treasure. However Pirate Pete is smelly and scaring the other patrons, so Library Lou brushes him up on library etiquette.
17. Groundhog Weather School by Joan Holub
Groundhog Weather School is a perfect read aloud to teach children about all the important aspects of Groundhog Day. This humorous story has third grade readers wanting more and more. Professor Groundhog teaches fun facts about Groundhog Day through the eyes of the animals who live it.
18. Twinderella, A Fractioned Fairy Tale by Corey Rosen Schwartz
Corey Rosen Schwartz takes a twist on the story of Cinderella and gives her a twin sister. This makes doing chores so much better since they are each doing their half. The problem starts when there is only one prince. This read aloud will engage 3rd grade readers as the story unfolds with infectious rhymes.
19. Sam, the Most Scaredy-cat Kid in the Whole World: A Leonardo, the Terrible Monster Companion by Mo Willems
This wonderful book by Mo Willems will surely be a favorite as it is read aloud. Sam and Kerry are each afraid of everything except for their monsters. When they suddenly discover each other, it's time for their monsters to take control.
20. The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt
The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors is sure to be a childhood favorite as it keeps kids laughing throughout the entire story. This cast of characters in the Rock, Paper, and Scissors try to find a worthy adversary as they encounter several household objects. Finally when they come together and despite their battles, the three become friends.
21. This Is a Serious Book by Jodie Parachini
This is a Serious Book is anything but serious. The narrator maintains that a serious book is in black and white. The cast of characters is pitted against the narrator. When Zebra shows up, he and his friends begin ruining this serious book with hilarious antics.
22. How to Be Cool in the Third Grade by Betsy Duffey
The perfect read aloud for any cool third grader. How to Be Cool in the Third Grade allows children who are in the third grade to make connections to the main character. Children will sympathize with Robbie as he struggles to find his way in third grade and cheer him on as he manages to find his way.